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Quilted Bag

from Sunday, February22nd of the year2009.

Now, I’m not normally a h8r and normally I would ignore something like this, but I need to know what is going on with this whole Ed Hardy Christian Audigier situation. WHAT IS IT!? It’s taking over my universe. It’s like, tattoos meets dumb euro jeans?

God, it’s driving me crazy. It started the other day on the plane when I saw a haredi man in, you know, a black suit, and his wife in her dowdy li’l outfit ““ carrying a beyond hideous quilted bag that said Christian Audigier Ed Hardy on it in gold script. I can’t even find a picture of it online; perhaps it was Fake?

Anyway, then, I get out here, and everybody is wearing this insane looking stuff:

I guess the word I would use to describe it is “hard on the eyes.”

Tonight is my concert with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. It’s a really interesting program:

* Johannes Brahms | Laß dich nur nichts nicht dauren, Opus 30
Ave Maria, Opus 12
* Anton Bruckner | Motets
* Andrea Clearfield | Dream Variations World Premiere
* Nico Muhly | Expecting the Main Things from You
* Arvo Pärt | De Profundis
* Steven Sametz | Music’s Music World Premiere

I wish they would advertise specifically which motets, because Bruckner motets range from the Awesome to the Really Fucking Awesome. Here’s an awesome one:

[audio:02 Gradual_ Os justi meditabitur.mp3]
Anton Bruckner Os Justi Meditabitur
Corydon Singers / Best

and here’s a Really Fucking Awesome one (so made by the addition of Trombones to the Choir):

[audio:03 Offertorium_ Afferentur regi.mp3]
Anton Bruckner Afferentur Regi
Corydon Singers / Best

I really really like these Bruckner motets. I can’t deal with Bruckner’s symphonies. I have tried many times, and I think that they just Take 2 Long 2 Get Where They Need 2 Go. The motets, on the other hand, do everything you want Music to do in a short amount of time. Now, this isn’t to say I’m an advocate of everything being really short; I wouldn’t wish shortness on any Wagner or Reich or Pärt or any other Big Canvasses. But there’s always something about Longform Bruckner that makes me want Out.

The other great thing about the Los Angeles Master Chorale is that they really know how to program a season. Check this out. It’s all good, and really well paired: Mozart’s Requiem and those Adams Klinghoffer Choruses? Yes please! The Pärt Miserere and a new work by Meredith Monk!? I might even fly out for that shit. For those of you who don’t know the Pärt Miserere, get on it. It’s gorgeous, long, and has an unbelievable climax (if you can call it that, six minutes in) that I steal from on a daily basis.

New thing I’ve noticed in LA: A bunch of Japanese Restaurants that really aggressively tell you that they won’t make “cut rolls,” or “teriyaki” or whatever. I et at this place Sushi Sasabune which is omakase only, and there are aggro hand-written signs all over the joint saying NO CALIFORNIA ROLL and NO SPICY TUNA ROLL. I kind of like it, although I was then a little disappointed in the fact that the food on offer was basically (really good) cuts of tuna & salmon and nothing too outrageous. If they’re going to abuse you about wanting a California Roll, the least they could do is make you eat some abalone or Pickle of Mysterie or something. Forbidden Urchin. At least some monkfish liver! I probably could have been more forthcoming about the Itinerary of my Desires, too.


  • If Lincoln Center, MoMA, and the New Yorker denote the cultural aspirations of NY, Christian Audigier, Disneyland and, like, the Hustler Hollywood store denote the cultural aspirations of LA. Sad but true.

    While yr out there, avoid Sunset Blvd & Universal Citywalk or your head will explode.

  • I’m all for the addition of trombones to any choir, but I still prefer that Os Justi, the first clip. For me there’s nothing sexier than these self-indulgent Romantic composers strapping themselves into diatonic bondage, for church.

  • diatonic bondage for church! that’s amazing!!

    faanks nico. i heart bruckner xox

  • mmmmmm sea urchin, love it

  • There’s a meredith monk show at the guggenheim on march 5th and you don’t need to fly anywhere for that! woot

  • Uggghhh, Ed Hardy is the worst, and yes, everyone out here is obsessed. I’m glad to hear that you haven’t heard of it, because I was trying to explain it to a few East Coast friends and they were having no understanding.

    Congrats on the Reader win too, even though it wasn’t you winning, you win by association.

  • My One Great Love opined after having Sea Urchin for the first (and only) time: “its like minced fish clitorises”. I’ll stick to the eel, thankyou very much…

  • I <3 meredith monk.
    AND the bruckner motets.

  • First thing, last night was really great. we sat behind the choir so we got a pretty unique view acoustically. That last bit of alternating parts with the voices was “whoa”
    Second thing, I just moved out from Nashville and I still don’t understand Ed Hardy. It’s like all the aesthetically trashy trappings of the South without “The Blues” or “Air Conditioning.”

  • If I was Japanese I would be pissed about California rolls too. But I would fight them with a nice dried stingray fin and some cod roe rice balls, yum.

  • The Clearfield piece was nice, and the Sametz piece was sweepingly astute, but your vision and creative acuity is unparalleled today. You made them look like they were 28 and you were Pärt’s age.

  • Great concert, Nico. I was worried when violist David Walther scurried offstage and came back with apparently the right music, breathing a little hard. It seemed like a really good performance, for the most part, the choir especially. My favorite moment was Grant giggling after the brake-drum (or whatever it was) whacks. I’ve known him since his freshman year of college, and I’ve always loved how he picks up humor in music most people miss – like in Beethoven’s Eroica Variations, which he smiled all through in his senior recital (best senior recital I’ve ever heard, before or since).

    Grant and the Master Chorale represent the best of LA’s “Cultural Aspirations”, AND we have Amoeba Music!

  • Nico —

    A fan letter from the LAMC alto section…

    Your piece was absolutely terrific, and a hoot to sing. I heard something new to love and respect every time we sang it. It’s pretty darned complex — a guarantee that it will have legs. Bravo!

  • I looooove that Part Miserere! I first heard it up at Mr. J.’s place one morning when I went over for coffee, and he had it blaring, and it was fabulous. I think you choir fellas were getting ready to perform it with the Providence singers or some such, or maybe he was just trying to learn the organ bits? Memory a little hazy after 15 years or thereabouts. I love the string piece on that same CD, too, and Sarah was 90 Years Old. The singing bits at the end sound so ethereal. It’s worth waiting through the incredibly lengthy percussion bit!

  • Don’t give up on the Bruckner symphonies. They are superb. Just think BIG ORGAN. (Get your mind out of the gutter.) There are magical moments in each. I am a huge fan of the 6th (partly because everyone overlooks it). Mainly, because there are so many delicious moments in it. Lie back and let the waves of sound flood over you. Bruckner is the perfect mix of sensualist and obsessive-compulsive. Amazing sound clusters delight you, and they do it 2 or 4 times or on a climbing scale or with a pedal point that goes on a few measures too long. It’s the perfect mix of the divine channeled through the oh-too-human!

  • What an awesome programme… apart from the piece by your good self, which I don’t know, Bruckner’s ‘Os Justi’ is just incredible, to say nothing of the Brahms or ‘Christus factus est’. I cannee wait for Good Friday and the opportunity to sing the Bruckners again.